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Initiative 5

Blend experiential learning and vocational discernment opportunities into the liberal arts curriculum.

IN FOCUS:
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584 internships and practicums completed in FY17—the highest number in Gordon’s history

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637 students attended CCI events during inaugural fall semester

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3,050 jobs and internships posted on Handshake

The Career and Connection Institute (CCI) launched in the spring of 2018 to bridge the liberal arts to the world of work in fresh and exciting ways. This comprehensive hub integrates the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Academic Advising, Student Employment and Career Services—utilizing the resources of each to foster a holistic experience and prepare students well for all of life. Through individual appointments and campus-wide events, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be among the best in their areas of study.

We have seen significant growth in students yielding the benefits of the Gordon Victory Promise ethos with a total of 3,620 registrations in Gordon 360 honors, clubs and organizations, with 65% of all undergraduate students registering activities in 2019-2020. A student’s Gordon Experience Transcript (ET) increases exposure and collected experiences for students to further develop and broaden their capabilities. 

The Calling and Career Conference, launched as part of the goals in this area, has drawn hundreds of students for intensive career coaching and networking opportunities with alumni across seven areas of professional life and work each year. The conference also includes workshops to help students develop their resume, better their networking skills, and improve their online presence on multiple platforms. 

The College also worked to live into its role as a thought leader among CCCU institutions by hosting the yearlong Work Ahead: Ready for 2030 Project. First-year students will be 30 years old in 2030, and by some estimates, more than two-thirds of them will work in careers and roles that don’t exist today. Leveraging the expertise of faculty and senior advisors—including Pat Gelsinger, Mike Ullman, Heather Templeton Dill, Rosa Whitaker, Sam Rodriguez and others—Work Ahead: Ready for 2030 helped to begin to lay the groundwork for the College’s next strategic plan and offer direction as to what knowledge, skills and aptitudes are needed in order for these students to thrive in future workplaces.

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Innovation and preparation

With the help of former Google engineer Russ Tuck (computer science) and students in his Summer Computer Science Practicum, the College launched Gordon360—an innovative platform that contains the new co-curricular transcript to capture the experiential aspects of learning, including internships and on-campus involvements. In 2017, the College piloted the Calling and Career Conference—a multiday co-curricular program that assists students with the integration of faith into all aspects of vocational discernment and preparation, including networking with alumni in their respective industries.

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Work Ahead

First-year students will be 30 years old in 2030, and by some estimates, more than two-thirds of them will work in careers and roles that don’t exist today. Leveraging the expertise of faculty and senior advisors—including Pat Gelsinger, Mike Ullman, Heather Templeton Dill, Rosa Whitaker, Sam Rodriguez and others—Work Ahead: Ready for 2030 is a new initiative that will lay the groundwork for the College’s next strategic plan and offer direction as to what knowledge, skills and aptitudes are needed in order for these students to thrive in future workplaces. 

THE STARTING POINT: INITIAL GOALS

  • Deliver on the Victory Promise by ensuring 100 percent of Gordon graduates will complete at least one internship experience; ensuring 100 percent of students will complete at least one qualified experiential learning opportunity in each of the four areas of development according to the College’s mission (intellectual maturity, Christian character, lives dedicated to service, and preparation for leadership worldwide); and implementing the co-curricular portfolio plan
  • Create a comprehensive center for personal and professional development that integrates elements from the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, advising, and Career Services, utilizing the resources of each relevant department, to be among the best of these services in Christian colleges
  • Require a multi-day co-curricular program to assist sophomores with the integration of their Christian faith into all aspects of their vocational development, including resume writing skills, practice for job interviews, and how to pursue their God-given gifts in the job market
  • Promote initiatives that explore the integration of technology in each discipline. Each program incorporates technology applications appropriate for the workplace in each field 

STANDOUT ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Launch of the Career and Connection Institute and student portfolios
  • Launch of Work Ahead: Ready for 2030
  • Multi-day co-curricular career preparation
  • Growth of experiential learning opportunities

DISAPPOINTMENTS

  • Internship opportunities grew significantly, but did not reach 100% student participation